Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tubes and solar controller

30 Mar 2012: Another option to get these tubes working is to play with the settings of the Kingspan controller. Jason's electrician has set up the circuit as 'System 1', but I discovered (with some manual reading) that there are other options and I may try them first.
    Looking at the plumbing in the loft, it is so neat and tidy that I am unwilling to modify it hugely if that is unnecessary. See:
http://www.kingspansolar.com/pdf/Kingspan_SC300U_TR0502U_Datasheet_7_09.pdf
The Swimming pool option is on the bottom left
Reading the manual, I discovered that there are 39 system options, one of which is an option for heating a swimming pool. System options 23 and 24 are for swimming pools, one with a heat exchanger, and one with the cold pool water circulating directly. This is hugely similar to the situation I have, with a cold energy store that is so large it will never get significantly hot - but the liquid from that is still circulating through the tubes, so there will always be a useful delta-T to turn the tubes on and off. I had a delta-T of 8 degrees on the Sunbox because you need that much to push useful energy through a wall of polypropylene. In the case of the tubes, the sensor is measuring that actual liquid in the tube - so a delta-T of 2 degrees is an energy gain.

  Well... it is night now, but I hope to find in the morning that the system is running better than it was today. Only 1 hour of running and no kilowatt hours so far. Unfortunately, the weather forecast indicates that the warm sunny week we have just had may be history. Monday and Tuesday are likely to be rain with temperatures more normal in January, maximums of 5º or 6º.... groan. If the Surya Sunbox had worked correctly, I might have buried about 100 kWh in the last six days.

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